Whether white or rosé, Pineau des Charentes is a natural aperitif made from unfermented grape must mixed with Cognac brandy. It is drunk after aging in oak casks with the other wines and spirits.
Before being accepted into the noble family of Charentes products, the drink now sold as “Pineau des Charentes” was a wine prepared for family parties.
A divine surprise
It is said that a farmer in Saintonge poured, by mistake, some grape juice into a cask containing eau-de-vie. It stayed forgotten in his cellar for several years when he had the agreeable surprise of finding an amber liquid, with a delicate aroma and a smooth flavour. It is from “mistelle”* that Pineau des Charentes was born.
* Mistelle is a grape must, of which the fermentation has been stopped by addition of alcohol.